Junior Carter Smith netted a season-high 24 points, including the tying basket to force overtime with nine seconds remaining. (PHOTO BY Paul W. Fitzgerald Photography)
Smith nets 13 of his team-high 24 points after halftime, including tying basket with nine seconds left to force overtime
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (November 19, 2014) – Junior guard Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet) buried a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Stonehill College to a 91-88 overtime victory at Merrimack College in the Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball opener for both at Bert Hammel Court tonight.
Bramanti's off-balance three from the right side gave Stonehill its only lead of the overtime session and first lead since 3:30 remaining in regulation. He finished with 13 points (ten first half) on 4-of-8 shooting, including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, while converting both free-throw attempts to go with five rebounds, five assists and a steal. Junior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) paced the Skyhawks with a season-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including 6-for-10 from three-point range, hitting jumper with nine seconds to play in regulation that forced overtime.
Senior Jack Cole (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) was also among the five Stonehill players in double-figures with 13 points, shooting 5-for-6 from the floor, with a team-high eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) added 14 points and seven boards, while freshman Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) chipped in with 12 first half points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
Stonehill shot 50-percent (29-for-58) from the field, including 15-for-27 (55.6%) from three-point range, posting a 44-35 rebounding margin and overcoming a 25-5 shortfall in points off turnovers. The Skyhawks converted 9-of-16 triples (56.3%) in the opening half and carried a seven point lead into the break. Merrimack finished shooting 45.5% (35-77) from the field, including 50% (17-34) in the second half.
Junior Adam Bramanti scored the winning basket as time expired, finishing with 13 points. (PHOTO BY Paul W. Fitzgerald Photography)
Merrimack squandered a game-high 36 points from junior Gelvis Solano (New York, New York/Health Professions) on 15-of-30 shooting from the field, including 4-for-13 from deep, converting both free-throws to go with four rebounds, two assists and five steals. Classmate JT Strickland (Laurel, Maryland/Georgetown Prep) added 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting with six rebounds, eight assists and a steal, while junior Troy Hammel (Valencia, California/Valencia) contributed 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Stonehill fought back from a four point (86-82) deficit midway through the overtime session after a pair of free-throws from Hammel. Smith knotted the score (86-86) for Stonehill with 1:50 to play, but Solano put Merrimack back in front with a layup with 1:10 to go. Logan pulled the Skyhawks even again with a layup with 52-seconds remaining and then the Warriors missed a three-pointer at the other end to set up Bramanti's game-winning basket after a Stonehill timeout.
Stonehill led by as much as 12 on three occasions in the first half before settling for a seven point halftime lead (44-37) after a Solano three-pointer late in the frame. Bess canned 4-of-5 three-pointers for his 12 first half points, including one with 3:20 left in the half for a 12 point cushion (40-28). The Skyhawks worked the lead back to nine (54-45) after a Smith three two and a half minutes into the frame.
Merrimack drew even (59-59) with a layup by sophomore Riley Calzonetti (Neptune Beach, New Jersey/Point Pleasant Beach) with 13:27 remaining. Strickland gave the Warriors the lead (62-61) with a layup with 11:17 to play, extending the lead to five (71-66) after a Solano three with 9:24 on the clock. Stonehill reclaimed the lead and held a three point advantage (76-73) after a Smith layup with 3:50 left.
The lead see-sawed back to Merrimack for a four point lead (80-76) after a Hammel layup with 68-seconds remaining. Cole scored inside to cut the Warriors lead to two (80-78) and then after a turnover at the other end, Smith canned the tying basket with a leaner with nine-seconds to go to extend the game to overtime.
Stonehill (3-0, 1-0 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits rival Bentley University for a Northeast-10 matchup at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks home opener is next Tuesday, November 25, when they host Franklin Pierce University at 7:30 p.m. Merrimack (2-1, 0-1 NE-10) visits Franklin Pierce on Sunday at 2 p.m.